This year’s autumn conference of EPUK was held at the Conference Centre, Aston University. The keynote speech was given by The Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben, Chair of the Climate Change Committee and previously a highly regarded Secretary of State for the Environment, and was widely reckoned to be a storming introduction to a very wide ranging and challenging day. Lord Deben spoke about those who would deny the effects of human activity on our environment by being selective about the facts and challenged all with responsibilities to the environment to keep to reality and make decisions based on the facts. The conference delegates then divided to attend two parallel sessions covering detailed technical discussions on contaminated land and air quality before reconvening for presentations on the health impacts of aircraft noise (Dr Anna Hansell), Noise Action Weeks (Mary Stevens) and concluding with another strong call to action from Tom Burke (Chair, E3G).
In between sessions there were exhibitions by technology providers and plenty of networking opportunity. The winner of the EPUK National Student Competition 2014, Celine Bouvet, delivered her paper to conference.
Commenting, President of EPUK, John Murlis said “this was another successful day for EPUK, highlighting our strong activity in the key areas of air quality, contaminated land and noise. I was delighted at the amount and quality of audience participation in the debates and question sessions and thank all those who attended. I would especially like to welcome our core members from local authorities, the new members to EPUK who joined on the day and the students who are our future, and hope that you will wish to participate in the work of the technical committees and our campaigning activity at local and national level. In particular I can announce that EPUK will seek to build an alliance with other bodies to spearhead a faster way to deliver cleaner air for all, with a launch event in the new year”.